“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What's more, you deserve to be hacked” ― Richard Clarke “Special Advisor to the President on Cybersecurity under President Bush”
“Employees make decisions every day that negatively affects their business’s security…As a result, we have known for a while that, to protect organizations, employees need online street smarts. However, the problem is that some in the industry treat employee awareness as a training concern or one-time activity. It is not. It is an ongoing cultural problem.” ― Wolfgang Goerlich “Cyber Security Strategist”
Cybersecurity is not an App! It’s a habit; learn to change your cyber habits and you will change your cyber hygiene. – Terry Sadler (me) “AKA the Cybersecurity Evangelist”
Cybersecurity is not an App! Choose to learn and keep yourself more secure.
I believe many people do not take the time to learn about cybersecurity because they feel it’s too complicated, too involved, or they may think they don’t have anything to protect. In today’s connected world that has been changed by the Internet, people need to learn how to be secure. They also need to know that it’s not something that you can just install on your computer or your phone because there’s a lot more to it than that. But I have good news! It’s not too complicated, and it’s not too complex. Now whether or not you have anything to protect, I’ll leave that for you to decide. Cybersecurity is more about what you do then about some application or software program.
Cybersecurity is not an App! It's practicing daily to keep it secure!
Cybersecurity is kind of like being a doctor or a lawyer. Once you take the time to learn how to keep yourself more secure, you’ve got to practice what you’ve learned on a daily basis. Cybersecurity is not something you can just set and forget. Practicing cybersecurity is something you need to do for the rest of your life and teach those you love how to do the same.
Cybersecurity is not an App! It’s as easy as a two-step and classic as a waltz.
Recently, I started taking dancing lessons with my wife. We are beginning to learn how to do the two-step, the waltz, and many other ballroom dances. Now, why would I compare cybersecurity to ballroom dancing? I’ll tell you why. It’s because in the beginning learning how to apply the principles you’ll use to stay secure in this new paradigm of the connected life will take some practice. Just like learning how to dance will take practice and time. In time, however, you will be more secure and also be able to lead others around the ballroom and teach them simple principles that will keep them more secure.
Now that I’ve given you some things to think about and shared with you my core message, cybersecurity is not an app! I need to give you some fundamental first steps.
Never open an unsolicited email, if you open an unsolicited email never click on a link to see where it goes even if you have an insatiable urge to follow links in unsolicited emails…stop.
Remember that there really isn’t anything free in this world except the love of God and the gift of salvation. You have not won the sweepstakes just because you receive an email that says you have. You do not have a benevolent benefactor in Nigeria who wants to share his or her inheritance wealth with you if you only send him or her some money to cover legal fees they can’t afford until they receive the inheritance.
Learn how to recognize a phishing email. This may take a little effort especially if you still have an urge to open unsolicited email. Your bank will not send you an email asking you to verify your account information. The IRS will not send you an email alerting you to potential fraud. If you get a pop-up that says the website you’re visiting has detected malware on your computer and you need to buy their software to remove it, don’t believe it.
Cybersecurity is also not just about behavior. Learn how to secure your devices and social media accounts. Oh, you cannot be infected with a virus because you accept a friend request from someone you don’t know…but you may connect with a stalker if you are not careful. Today’s providers of the devices we use have developed guides you can use to lock them down or make them more secure. It doesn’t matter if it’s your router, your computer, your iPhone or Android smartphone, or similar device. Take a few minutes a day and learn what settings can improve your security.
Last but not least…if you want 100% protection from hackers and cybercriminals you need to find a time machine and go back in time. Even if you don’t use the Internet you may be affected by any of these because someone has your private information and he or she may not protect it good enough.
These are just a few of the things that will help arm you and make you a better cybersecurity practitioner. And in the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus of Hill Stree Blues: Hey, let's be careful out there.